Thomas Homan, director of ICE, lashed out at California for a state law that limits enforcement cooperation from local law to federal immigration authorities.
Northern California police officials said they would refuse to help federal authorities in the upcoming raids aimed at capturing more than 1,500 illegal immigrants, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.
The newspaper, citing an anonymous source, reported on a planned operation to be carried out by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The report did not specify a date, but said it will be carried out in the near future.
Police officials told the newspaper they had not been notified until Wednesday, but said they would not provide support.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told reporters that his city's police will not help ICE officials if the report on the raids is accurate.
The ability of federal officials to work with local jurisdictions was reduced on January 1 st after a new California law, SB54, came into force that limits inter-agency cooperation. The law officially made California the first "sanctuary state."
Thomas Homan, interim director of ICE, said last month that federal immigration officials are prepared to protect local communities in California if local officials refuse to do so.
Defenders of the law have argued that sanctuary laws are necessary to establish trust between immigrants and the local police.
The Oakland City Council pbaded a resolution ending all cooperation between local police and federal immigration officials. Under state law, the California police are limited in their communication with federal agents about potential illegal immigrants in jail or awaiting trial.
Homan called the resolution "excessive" and a "danger to local communities"
. ICE has refused to comment on the operation because the agency does not disclose information about future operations.